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The Future of Non-Linear-Editing (NLE)

Final Cut Pro X
Final Cut Pro X

Posted by: Clayton Moore

In the broadcast TV and feature film world Avid Media Composer is still king with up to 80-90% adoption rates. Final Cut Pro “classic” gained up to 20% of that market over the years or so because of its power as an editor and the cost of entry. Adobe Premiere never really factored into the picture in Hollywood at all. Then Apple’s disastrous rollout of FCPX combined with the end of life for FCP Classic. Adobe stepped up.

FCPX has been developed quite nicely and has been used in Hollywood on some projects but just not in the greater number of seats that Apple once had.

This is when Adobe stepped up and provided an option that FCP Classic users were more happy with. In the last 6 years since Apple did what it did, Adobe has slowly started to replace the space previously held by Final Cut Pro Classic. Where FCP Classic had about 20% of the seats in Hollywood, Adobe has only achieved 10% so far but the gap is closing. Adobe have gotten a massive amount of work outside of Hollywood and indi films. At 10% Adobe Premiere is the 2nd most used NLE in Hollywood. If a person wanted a career in Television and feature films they would need to learn AVID 1st and Adobe 2nd but also FCPX.

Having said all of this AVID has a very shaky future. They own Protools and Media Composer but outside of Hollywood they have virtually no growth path at all. As we know, Broadcast TV is declining and Big Hollywood Studios are feeling the pinch along with that. So AVIDs market is declining right along with it. The problem is in order to continue to serve that space, AVID cant mess with their software much or risk a serious backlash. So they are stuck not being able to evolve their GUI or functionality much beyond where they are. Married to a declining market. A business has to grow or die. Young talent finds that Premiere and FCPX way more intuitive and easy to work with then AVID. AVID has virtually no appeal outside of Hollywood. The word is they may have to be sold to someone who has way deeper pockets and who can figure out a way to serve is customers while grow into new markets.

BlackMagic’s Resolve has been and continues to be a popular color grading tool in and out of Hollywood. Its just been the last few years they have been building up the software into an integrated Editor, Grading, Audio Mixing and now 3D effects and compositing tool……. and of course a pretty fat export / delivery component. Since even AVID editors are cool to use it as just a Color Grading tool, it will be interesting to see how Resolves market will evolve into the other spaces. A $299 price point for the studio version and free for the other version is a no brainer for any Hollywood post house AND at the same time any Youtuber and everything in between. The Resolve GUI works like FCP Classic and Premiere in many ways, but its more elegant and more visually pleasing to work with then Adobe. Its almost becoming a combination of Premiere and FCPX… and its cross platform.

So the future of TV 3.0 and online movie may be Adobe and Apple and Resolve. Without Apple getting more into the Pro computer space, Windows would be stepping in with Adobe and Resolve. Pro macs and Final Cut Pro need each other. Because Adobe has grown a lot and is still growing, it may as the entertainment complex changes, Adobe will be who takes over from AVID in time because they are cross platform.

My 2 cents.

About the Author:

Clayton Moore is a very creative individual with years of experience in television broadcasting, videography and cinematography. He worked for Apple computer for many years and is an expert in the fields of non-linear editing and camera work.



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